When planning a New Year’s Eve getaway in Michigan, you can surround yourself with flowing waters from four of the five Great Lakes, as well as lush state parks with views of snow-capped hills. Moreover, look forward to savoring the fresh seafood available throughout the state. Staying in a Michigan vacation rental puts you in the heart of all of the holiday excitement. Opt for parties in big cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids for an unforgettable experience, or choose low-key celebrations in charming townships and villages for a relaxing retreat. When determining where to go in Michigan to make a toast to the new year, consider these popular getaway spots.
1. Watch the Cherry Drop in Traverse City
Enjoy closeness to the big city combined with country charm with a vacation rental in Traverse City that provides access to the Traverse City State Park and Grand Traverse Bay. On New Year’s Eve, the city celebrates the incoming year with its traditional Cherry T ball drop in the town’s center. The evening street festival here features live performances, music, and food, giving you opportunities to dine and socialize while you wait for the main event. Ring in the new year with authentic Michigan fare by making a dinner reservation at Apache Trout Grill, and dive into some fresh seafood and American cuisine.
2. Take in the Lake Views of Ludington
Opt for adult celebrations or kid-friendly festivities in Ludington. The city offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, but on New Year’s Eve, the lake takes on a different light with the annual Light up the Lake celebration. Sip on champagne to toast the new year with a view of fireworks over the lake right after the annual ball drop. Occupy the kids the next day with a tour of the Sandcastles Children’s Museum or the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
3. Anchors Away in Port Huron
Head to the seaside city of Port Huron to spend an evening awaiting the city’s annual Anchor Drop, where a lighted, decorated anchor drops in the downtown area at the stroke of midnight. History buffs can satisfy their thirst for knowledge over the New Year’s holiday with a trip to the Thomas Edison Depot Museum or the Port Huron Museum. Before retreating back to your vacation rental to warm up, grab a bite to eat at Fuel Woodfire Grill or toast to the new year at Freighters Eatery and Taproom, a lakeside lounge.
4. Family-Friendly Fun in Detroit
Detroit doesn’t disappoint when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations, especially when you get a front-row seat for the downtown ball drop. This family-friendly festival includes an early ball drop for the little ones alongside karaoke for older kids. Adults can dance in the streets to live music while snacking on munchies from on-site food vendors. More formal options for your New Year’s Eve include attending the Resolution Ball at the Fillmore or the Motor City Gala at the Atheneum. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra celebrates with a bang, offering guests a chance to dance while enjoying a live performance downtown.
5. Watch a Torchlight Parade in Harbor Springs
Treat the kids to a torchlight parade with a vacation rental in Harbor Springs. Head over to Nub’s Nob to see the skiers from the Nub’s Nob Ski Patrol make their way down the slopes parading with torches, and grab a satisfying cup of hot chocolate on the street. Nature enthusiasts can spend the day hiking through the Tunnel of Trees or the Thorne Swift Nature Preserve before the evening festivities begin. Fill up on fresh seafood at the Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, or grab a cocktail for a midnight toast at The Paper Station Bistro.
6. Dance the Night Away in Grand Rapids
Attend the Ballroom Bashes at various hotels in Grand Rapids for an epic New Year’s Eve celebration. If you’re unsure where to go to toast at midnight, consider the gala at the Amway Grand Plaza, the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, or the JW Marriott hotel. For a less formal evening, grab a bite to eat at the Electric Cheetah, bakery items at Marie Catrib’s of Grand Rapids, or a European beer at the Green Well Gastro Pub. Spend the rest of your getaway wandering through the lush greenery at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the interactive exhibits at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, or the flour mill exhibits at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
7. Watch Fireworks in Flint
Countdown to midnight at the Flint Farmers’ Market, and stick around for the expansive fireworks display. The market comes alive with live music, DJs, local food and beverages, and a magical light display showcasing the Christmas season. Sample local brews, enjoy a three-course dinner, and dance the night away at Tenacity Brewing in Flint. This black-tie event includes door prizes and party favors to help you ring in the new year in style. For a more family-friendly celebration, head over to the Flint Children’s Museum for interactive games and exhibits.
8. Listen to Local Bands in Marquette Harbor
Spend the day visiting the Marquette Harbor Light with your loved one or getting messy at the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum with the kids, then join the large crowd gathering for the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Marquette. An illuminated ball lowers at midnight from the Savings Bank Building at the stroke of midnight, and the festivities include live music performances by local bands and food from area restaurants. Enjoy a historic and tasty experience by dining at the Vierling Restaurant and Marquette Harbor Brewery for New Year’s Eve, or head to the Portside Inn for some local brews.
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